Man Utd and Roma close to agreeing Chris Smalling loan extension until end of the season

Manchester United are expected to allow Chris Smalling to remain at Roma until the end of the season.

The Englishman joined the Serie A side in a loan deal last summer.

It comes after falling down the pecking order following the signing of Harry Maguire from Leicester.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made improving his defence a top priority and Smalling was not part of his plans.

However, the ex-Fulham star has rebuilt his reputation in Italy and become a fan favourite at the Stadio Olimpico.

He has featured 28 times while also scoring twice with Roma sitting fifth in the league.

But with the coronavirus crisis calling a halt to football across the world, it left Smalling’s future up in the air.

The original agreement stated that he stay with Roma until June 30.

However, according to Gazzetta dello Sport via Sport Witness, the Red Devils are prepared to allow the centre-back stay in Italy until the new end of the season.

Serie A is set to return on June 13, with an end to the season without a date yet but expected to be in August.

Roma coach Paulo Fonseca has already spoken out on how well Smalling has adapted to life at the club.

And it has even led to him calling on his club bosses to make the loan deal a permanent one.

“He surprised me,” said Fonseca, when asked on Smalling’s progress.

“He’s a defender that had never left England and he arrived in a league very demanding of tactics, where details make the difference.

“Chris adapted very quickly. He’s an extraordinary guy, very intelligent.

“He has characteristics that I really appreciate in the centre.

“He’s fast, nearly unbeatable in one-on-ones. He has a great ability to read the play and anticipate. He was very important for this club.

“If possible, I would like him to stay. He’s a great professional and person, it’s a pleasure to have him here with us.”

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